To pop up, or not to pop up, that is the question; and it’s a question that many internet marketers often have to ask themselves when planning and running their marketing campaigns. On the one hand pop up windows can be extremely annoying and may irritate site visitors to such an extent they may vacate the site, but on the other hand pop up advertising can work very well so it’s somewhat of a double edged sword. 

Conflicting Opinions

In one survey conducted in 2004 by Jakob Nielsen, 95% of people questioned said pop up windows had a negative effect on their online experience.

More worryingly, in a survey of 18,808 internet users, 40% of users stated pop ups gave them a negative opinion of the site hosting the pop ups, and 50% said the unwanted page intrusions gave them a negative opinion of the advertiser—a fact that may explain why Google Adsense publishers are not allowed to place Adsense advertisements in pop up windows.

With so much hatred being directed towards them it is rather surprising that pop up windows can be so useful for converting traffic to sales (in the case of advertising) or to opt-ins (when a squeeze page or sign-up form is presented via pop up window). Surpsing or not they often deliver the goods and some studies suggest pop up windows may generate up to 13% more clicks/opt-ins than standard on page advertising techniques.

Some Pop up Window Considerations

Although pop up windows are unlikely to ever been seen as the greatest thing since sliced bread by site visitors, many internet marketers use them to good effect, successfully building their lists via pop-up squeeze pages and opt-in forms, and/or generating revenue from sales generated via pop up advertisements.

It’s hard to discount any method that works, but no marketer wants to annoy their site visitors and drive them away, so pop ups need to be implemented correctly and used sparingly. Pop ups that only appear when visitors are attempting to close or leave a page can be less intrusive than those that ‘pop up’ in the middle of the screen as soon as a visitor lands on the page, or slide in from the side while they are trying to read the page content, but each type of window has its fair share of marketers ready to jump in and fly the flag for it. But what works for one may not work for another and may not work at all if site visitors are using a pop up blocker. In the end though, it is up to individual marketers to decide what tools and methods are best suited to furthering the interests of their online business.